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Freedom to Tinker

Research and expert commentary on digital technologies in public life

Last Build Date: Sun, 27 Nov 2016 22:37:42 +0000


Announcing the Open Review Toolkit

Sun, 27 Nov 2016 20:16:30 +0000

I’m happy to announce the release of the Open Review Toolkit, open source software that enables you to convert your book manuscript into a website that can be used for Open Review. During the Open Review process everyone can read and annotate your manuscript, and you can collect valuable data to help launch your book. […]

CITP Call for Visitors and Affiliates for 2017-18

Wed, 09 Nov 2016 16:18:14 +0000

The Center for Information Technology Policy is an interdisciplinary research center at Princeton that sits at the crossroads of engineering, the social sciences, law, and policy. We are seeking applicants for various residential visiting positions and for non-residential affiliates. For more information about these positions, please see our general information page and yearly call for […]

New Workshop on Technology and Consumer Protection

Tue, 08 Nov 2016 16:46:51 +0000

[Joe Calandrino is a veteran of Freedom to Tinker and CITP. As long time readers will remember,  he did his Ph.D. here, advised by Ed Felten. He recently joined the FTC as research director of OTech, the Office of Technology Research and Investigation. Today we have an exciting announcement. — Arvind Narayanan.] Arvind Narayanan and […]

Privacy: A Personality, Not Property, Right

Mon, 07 Nov 2016 18:45:43 +0000

The European Court of Justice’s decision in Google v. Costeja González appears to compel search engines to remove links to certain impugned search results at the request of individual Europeans (and potentially others beyond Europe’s borders). What is more, Costeja may inadvertently and ironically have the effect of appointing American companies as private censors and […]

The Effects of the Forthcoming FCC Privacy Rules on Internet Security

Mon, 31 Oct 2016 16:52:47 +0000

Last week, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announced new privacy rules that govern how Internet service providers can share information about consumers with third parties.  One focus of this rulemaking has been on the use and sharing of so-called “Consumer Proprietary Network Information (CPNI)”—information about subscribers—for advertising. The Center for Information Technology Policy and the Center […]

Learning Privacy Expectations by Crowdsourcing Contextual Informational Norms

Mon, 31 Oct 2016 12:00:47 +0000

[This post reports on joint work with Schrasing Tong, Thomas Wies (NYU), Paula Kift (NYU), Helen Nissenbaum (NYU), Lakshminarayanan Subramanian (NYU), Prateek Mittal (Princeton) — Yan] To appear in the proceedings of the Fourth AAAI Conference on Human Computation and Crowdsourcing (HCOMP 2016) We would like to thank Joanna Huey for helpful comments and feedback. Motivation […]

Sign up now for the first workshop on Data and Algorithmic Transparency

Fri, 28 Oct 2016 13:42:27 +0000

I’m excited to announce that registration for the first workshop on Data and Algorithmic Transparency is now open. The workshop will take place at NYU on Nov 19. It convenes an emerging interdisciplinary community that seeks transparency and oversight of data-driven algorithmic systems through empirical research. Despite the short notice of the workshop’s announcement (about […]

The AT&T Deal Is About the Data

Fri, 28 Oct 2016 12:00:11 +0000

Most of the mainstream media coverage of the proposed AT&T acquisition of Time Warner has missed an important risk. Much of the discussion has focused on the potential market power the combined entity would have to raise prices, limit choice or otherwise disadvantage consumers. A primary motivation for the deal, however, as readers of Freedom […]

Neophilia and Human Nature

Thu, 27 Oct 2016 12:00:34 +0000

In the spring of 2012, I attended the memorial service for John McCarthy, a computer science founding father, at an auditorium on the Stanford campus. Among the great and good anecdotes told about this great and good guy was the mention of how McCarthy, more or less in around 1961, invented time-sharing—which, as was pointed […]

Bitcoin is unstable without the block reward

Fri, 21 Oct 2016 12:53:36 +0000

With Miles Carlsten, Harry Kalodner, and Matt Weinberg, I have a new paper titled On the instability of Bitcoin without the block reward, which Harry will present at ACM CCS next week. The paper predicts that miner incentives will start to go haywire as Bitcoin rewards shift from block rewards to transaction fees, based on […]